Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Pause

Grace, 2010

And there she was, in the midst of it--the pause.

Everything else continued moving. It was only she who stopped. The commuters commuted, the birds ate their worms, and the sun made its way across the sky. She stood absolutely still. She could hear her breath, feel her hair falling across the back of her neck, and she could smell the salt in the air.

The silence was hollow. It was like running out of gas on an open country road. A beautiful, yet unsettling quiet.

What was she to be cultivating in here, inside this pause? She couldn't be sure, but she didn't want to resume her life-as-usual when resuming resumed. No. It would be such a waste. Progress must be made! This experience had to mean more than a fad diet, a vacation romance, a (fill in the blank) retreat. All of them filled with so much promise, such beauty, and a happiness so grand it is impossible to believe it will ever fade. But then life returns to life.

So she held very still, her eyes closed. She would come up with a solution.
If I can't take something with me and incorporate it into my real life, well, there's no point. It's like anything else. I've immersed and shimmered and floated high upon that proverbial cloud with so many anything elses. Still, somehow, I arrive home with the same old me. My curiosity racing full speed ahead, earlier questions remaining unanswered. Puttering too late and waking too early. Continuing to douse my meals in Sriracha, knowing my belly will burn.

What's to be learned here? What is my lesson, my take-home?
She stayed still.
Could the lesson be that there is no lesson?

Is the pause simply part of the rhythm? The same rhythm that includes the racing and puttering and belly burning? Does analyzing the pause, or forcing it to be what it is not, disrupt this rhythm? This rhythm that creates movement, tension, and develops the plot or storyline otherwise known as life?

Should it all be embraced? Observed, accepted, and embraced?

No one knows for sure, right? So why not just say "yes", be my own Buddha, God, Higher Being of choice? Maybe I'm the "awakened one"..."the enlightened one." Maybe not, but I like this idea...for now.
She opened her eyes.


  1. I am grateful for every pause. Awareness lives in a pause. Beautiful post. :)

  2. I love your line "The commuters commuted". It says a lot to me about habit and entrapment..

  3. Tracy, Me too. They do seem necessary.

    Mise, Yes, sometimes it is a good idea to step back and take a look at our habits, make sure they are taking us where we want to go.

  4. so curious Denise --which came first -- that lovely image, or your lovely words?

  5. Your writing is so beautiful. Often I so long for moments when I can just stop for a minute and take a deep breath. You express that so beautifully. I could stare at that photo for ages without ever getting bored.

  6. I believe reflection is the key to self growth.

    You have such a lovely blog! I'll be following along ♥

  7. Beautifully written. And I am with Tracy - awareness lives in a pause.

    I love the way you weaved your narrator between first person and third. What a perfect way to capture that pause - and the space between here and there, life and enlightment...

    I really enjoyed this post, dear. Thank you.


  8. I have been wondering whether it's the full bore of spring that's got me so puttery and sleepless. I so appreciated this post. I agree that there's a rhythm to embrace, but I have to remind myself again and again. This helped!

  9. every moment is precious; every day a state of consciousness has to rewon. changes can come slowly, in subtle ways...but I have found that my life of several years ago has become unrecognizable to me now. and now is what matters. the pause is so essential...thank you for your lovely post.

  10. This is a wonderful piece..., I started reading it and right away it reminded me of the style that some female East Indian writes had that certain rhythm and cadence ...and then I got to the last paragraph and thought that it exactly has that wonderful style. Rohinton Mistry's books have that feel as well. Hard to explain, but there is something about the flow of the piece that makes you feel calm.

  11. I love your Pause... you gave me a pause a tiny respite in a busy day. Pauses, time to reflect... to rearrange the experiences, their rearrange thoughts and then start again

    Your lines are beautiful as always.

  12. really great writing. I'm a new follower :)

  13. I pause often, and think about lessons even more so. Wonderful post, thank you for your reflections!

  14. I love the photo you paired with your writing. It's good to be reminded to stop and take time, be more fully aware.

  15. beautiful
    pauses are so good. so necessary.
    i love that statuette too....

  16. i love the pauses and the inbetweens. beautiful write

  17. ahh yes, pause. i love the idea of it. i appreciate reading this post, so much today.

  18. A lovely post, Denise. I really liked this bit: "It was like running out of gas on an open country road. A beautiful, yet unsettling quiet."

  19. counting dandelions, First came my thoughts about "pause", then the photograph, then the text for this post. Thanks for being curious. I'm always interested in learning how others move through their creative process.

    Vanessa, Reading this really makes my day. Thank you.

    Michelle Elisabeth, It's just those growing pains that often accompany growth. They can be a challenge.

    Maria, Thank you for noticing. You always have something thoughtful to say. I was playing around with a few ideas and the ones you mentioned felt right, for this post.

    Shae, I need to remind myself too! I'm in desperate need of a nap or early bedtime tonight.

    nancy, Thank you. It does seem that life never really goes as planned. Things change. I agree--"now is what matters."

    Raina, I am truly flattered by your comment. Thank you. I'll have to read some Rohinton Mistry. I'm always open to book/author suggestions, so if you think of any of those female East Indian writers, send their names my way.

    life in yonder, Thank you. Those tiny respites are so important.

    bds, Thank you and welcome!

    Tricia, I'm thinking a lot about lessons today. Thank you for reading.

    alexandria, I really love that figure, so it was easy to make the photograph. I adore her expression.

    Lisa, Thank you. I really love her too!

    Char, Thank you. Today has felt like one big and strange "in between"

    Christina, You are the queen of the thoughtful pause.

    Jessica, I'm so glad you noted that part. It was so visual for me. Thank you for reading.